HORROR ISLAND (1941)
Article #93 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-17-2001
Posting date: 10-31-2001
A small-time entrepreneur takes advantage of a fake treasure map he has acquired to stage a treasure-making scheme on an island with an old castle that he has rigged up to be haunted. However, he finds himself being stalked by a killer known as “The Phantom,” and the treasure-seekers find themselves being knocked off one by one.
I wonder just how many obscure horror comedies of the thirties and early forties were variations of THE CAT AND THE CANARY, with a variety of characters staying in a spooky house/mansion/castle with secret doors and passages while being terrorized by a caped fiend. I think of them en masse as “The Old Dark House Films.” At any rate, here’s another one. This one is not too bad; it’s directed with a fair amount of energy and gusto. In fact, it may move too fast at one point; once the killer starts keeping numeric track of the living persons left on the island, there are only about twelve minutes left to the movie. Still, this is silly, light-hearted fun.
Incidentally, my favorite joke in the movie involves pigeons.